airport dispensaries
airport dispensaries

Airport Dispensaries - Flying High May Have a Whole New Meaning in Canada Soon!

Would you get high before flying high?

Posted by:
Laurel Leaf on Friday Feb 4, 2022

airport dispensaries in Canada

Who would have thought that cannabis-lovers would be able not just to fly high but be able to purchase their favorite products minutes before boarding a plane? Prince George Airport and Copilot are gearing up to open the first airport cannabis dispensary in Canada. This feat will be the first to be accomplished in the world.

Canada is one of the world's cannabis pioneers, and this new development, which will happen sooner than everyone expects, will cement the country's position as a cannabis-friendly country. Currently, the country permits travelers to fly with 30 grams of cannabis. At least 1 in 4 Canadians has traveled on domestic flights with cannabis, but the law frowns against smoking these products onboard the planes or within the airport premises. Travelers can legally consume cannabis in non-smokable forms.


A Retail Weed Shop In An Airport

Prince George Airport Authority (IATA: YXS) has applied to be the first Canadian airport to have a cannabis store on its premises. The airport's representative made this announcement. They revealed that the airport had formed a partnership with Copilot to open a legal cannabis store. Copilot is a cannabis company whose primary objective is to normalize shopping experiences for air passengers within and around Canada. Linking up with Prince George Airport means that at least half a million passengers from British Columbia, Prince George, and neighboring cities will be reached.


The Partnership

The first time Copilot approached the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA) was in 2020 (before the pandemic). The company presented the airport management with a proposal to establish the first weed dispensary in an airport terminal in Canada. The CEO of the PGAA, Gordon Duke, said that the airport authorities have a strong feeling about having the Copilot team with them in this endeavor. He said that the partnership would serve the airport's business partners, passengers, and various communities.

Before this dream can become a reality, the company needs to procure a business license. Whether or not the City of Prince George will grant this license is uncertain. For the shop at YXS to open this year, all requirements must be met for the bus license to be issued. This license is the most crucial aspect for this retail store to launch.

Reed Horton, the co-founder of Copilot, expressed his excitement over the new partnership with Prince George Airport Authority. He stated with much enthusiasm that the Copilot team is happy and ready to introduce the wonders of cannabis travel to the community. He emphasized that the company is focused on doing business like other cannabis operations in the community and promises to abide by all federal and provincial laws.

The store will be well-positioned within the airport's terminal so that it will not be lost among the many other shopping outlets in the large shopping area. It would also not be too obvious to ensure some anti-cannabis passengers are not offended. This way, interested customers will pop in and try out the various products stocked in the cannabis business model.


Is YXS the best place to start?

Horton stated that Prince George was the best location to start this cannabis retail chain based on its not-so-large size and the fantastic culture of the community. These things and more make YXS an ideal spot for Canada's first airport cannabis shop. He said that his cofounder, Owen Ritz, also shares his excitement about introducing a regular and straightforward cannabis retail experience to air passengers across Canada.

Given that an airport cannabis retail store is a new concept, it is best to test the different aspects of the business model in an airport like YXS. Copilot will develop a community feel with residents without them feeling overwhelmed. The company plans to make the store accessible to travelers and residents and will also put strict measures in place to ensure the airport remains smoke-free.


Approving The New Retail Shop

Early this month, the city council approved the first two readings of a bylaw modifying the existing zoning regulations at airports. The Prince George Citizen reported that the readings were unanimously approved with very little debate.

The final phase for approving Copilot's application is expected to be held in a few weeks. This third reading would involve a public hearing and discussion before a final decision is reached. The company's solid business plan endears it to the city council and the Prince George Airport Authority.

In an email, Duke wrote that cannabis stores would be a standard fixture in Canadian airports shortly. This legal business model will be appropriately managed to ensure there is little or no impact on the welfare of domestic travelers. Appropriate education and responsible consumption will be preached and encouraged once operations begin.


Not Everyone Agrees

The RCMP is not enthusiastic about the latest development. The agency believes that air passengers will see this as an opportunity to evade Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) staff. The CATSA staff is responsible for overseeing the packing and weighing of luggage for domestic flights. The presence of this store will more or less complicate security screenings for cannabis flower and edibles.

Another significant issue is the potential challenge the availability of cannabis in YXS might present for connecting international flights within countries where cannabis is prohibited.

The co-founders of Copilot remained optimistic that it would all work out. Ritz and Horton stated that the cannabis business is one of their strong suits despite being relatively new to the sector. They also added that the company is being advised and guided by investors with in-depth experience in the industry. Copilot's lead investor is Marc Lustig, the founder of CannaRoyalty Corp.


Bottom Line

Many passengers consume various stress-relieving substances from one state to another within Canada. This new partnership will make cannabis one of the substances people can use to ease stress. It would also boost the community's economy by employing its residents. Rits and Horton's belief in the concept, combined with advice from industry pioneers, could be the start of something unique. Who knows, maybe one-day cannabis retail stores could expand across Canada and into neighboring countries.








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